Hokkaido Milk Buns

Milk bun side view

Fluffy Hokkido milk buns – made using the tangzongh method

Hokaido Milk Buns


  • 400g strong white bread flour
  • 14g fresh yeast (or 7g dry instant)
  • 25g milk powder
  • 220ml whole milk, warm
  • 20g caster sugar
  • 6g fine salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, approx 120g.
  • 40g soft butter
  • To finish:
    • 1 small egg, beaten
    • 30g melted butter
    • flakey salt


  1. Firstly, make the tangzongh*; in a small saucepan, weigh 30g of the flour and 80ml of the milk and cook on a medium heat constantly whisking till thick. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a jug or small bowl, add the rest of the warm milk and fresh yeast (or dry, if using); stir until all the yeast is incorporated.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook fitted, add the remainder flour, sugar, salt and milk powder and whisk together. Add the eggs, milk and yeast, tangzongh and mix on medium speed for 8 minutes.
  4. Slowly add the softened butter a teaspoon at a time and mix for a further 6-8 minutes on medium speed, or until the dough springs back to the touch.
  5. Transfer to a clean bowl greased with oil and proof for 1hr, or until doubled in size.
  6. Prepare 9×13″ baking tin with greaseproof paper and butter the sides and base.
  7. Weigh the dough and divide into 12 equal pieces, roughly around 60-68g each. The dough will be a little wet/tacky – dust the surface lightly with flour and repeat as required.
  8. Flatten each piece of dough slightly and bring the outside corners into the centre of the dough making a ball shape. Turn the dough over (seam side down) and using your hand like a claw, gently roll into a tighter ball.
  9. Place all the balls into the prepared tin in rows of 3 by 4. Cover lightly with cling film and proof for 45mins – 1hr, or until doubled in size.
  10. Pre-heat the oven to 190c fan or 210c oven.
  11. Using the 1 small egg, egg wash the proofed buns.
  12. Bake for 16-20 mins until golden brown.
  13. Once removed from the oven, brush liberally with the melted butter and sprinkle over the flakey salt, to taste.
  14. Enjoy warm with more butter, or on their own, or make into sandwiches, or slice each bun into 4 and toast for breakfast!


*Tangzongh is pre-gelatinized flour made by heating a small portion of the flour and milk (sometimes water). This is key to making light and fluffy bread.

Ideas for different toppings:

Make a herby garlic butter to smother over the warm buns – I’d suggest 1 clove of garlic and 1 tbsp chopped herbs mixed into the melted butter.

Make the buns cheesy – grate plenty of parmesan over the egg washed buns and bake.Sprinkle over some seeds before baking eg. poppy seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds etc.

Everything bagel seasoning works well on these buns. To make; mix together 1 tsp each of garlic granules, onion granules, poppy seeds, white/black sesame seeds, flakey salt.

These buns keep well for 3-4 days in an airtight container or wrapped in cling film.

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